Duplex builds have broad appeal across all demographics, are relatively low risk, and can offer solid returns, such as a dual income stream – and while ensuring you have an experienced builder managing your new build is essential, so too is finding the right block of land. So, let’s delve into the two main factors you need to consider when starting out with your duplex development – which suburb to build in and what type of block should you be seeking out.

 Choosing your duplex suburb

When choosing the most suitable suburb for your duplex build, both central and outer suburbs can hold great appeal. Outer suburbs can mean there is more available land to choose from, which often translates into less expensive land values. Plus, if you’re lucky, the block of land may have already been cleared or doesn’t have a structures on it to clear at all, meaning the knockdown and site preparation costs can be minimal.

However, while there are all those cost-positives about outer suburb duplex developments, the sales prices and rental returns will in most cases be less than you could expect to get on the same quality of build in a more centrally positioned development. You’ve heard it before, but location counts. Of course, sought after locations generally have a higher land value. So yes, those inner city and central developments may attract bigger resale and rental prices, but they also require a bigger investment in the first place.

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In addition to that, a suitable block of land, one big enough for a duplex build, can be hard to come by in inner city locations where block sizes tend to be smaller. Also, finding an empty block of land is going to be near impossible. So, you will need to factor in clearing the land into your development budget. Another consideration is that a block of land which has an existing structure is often more expensive than an empty block of land – so that’s just something extra to keep in mind.

Essentially, inner or outer, the final decision is going to come down to your finances. That is, how much money do you want to pay for your block; a more modest budget may mean an outer suburb is going to be the best solution, but if you have a larger financial resource to draw on, then the potential sales prices and rental figures of a more centrally located duplex might lure your development closer to a city centre.

Keep in mind, to achieve the higher figures often seen in city sales, your buyers will have greater expectations for premium fittings and designs, to reflect the prime location. So, building a duplex with an experienced duplex builder who knows the ins-and-outs of the local buyer’s market is recommended.

Regardless of the suburb you end up selecting, be sure to take note of all the other services and amenities available in the local area. This will be a key selling tool later on. For example, if your local suburb has a University, a large regional hospital or medical centre, quick access to the Freeway, or a highly sought-after school, you will want to know this before any development build starts, so that you overall design can cater directly for that market, maximising the potential for your duplex investment to be a success.

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Finding your duplex block

Once you have your suburb sorted, finding the perfect block of land to build a duplex can be quite a challenge. As mentioned earlier, you may need to look for blocks that already have buildings on them, which can increase the land value. If that is the case, ideally you will be looking for properties on the market that have rundown houses on them. The less interest the market has in the house itself, the more favourable the price of the investment will be. The old adage rings true here. You want to be looking for the worst house ion the best block. Just make sure that block has the right sort of zoning you will require to build a duplex development.

On the other hand, you might be fortunate enough to find a decent size, empty block of land. And that would most likely be cheaper than a block with a building on it. But before you jump at it, make sure all of the site-specific features of your block suit a duplex build. If it has a heavy slope and/or has large trees on it, the site preparation or increased slab requirements may mitigate any savings you’ve made by buying an empty block.

Empty or not, the block needs to be big enough for a duplex build, and that generally translates to either width or length.

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Here at Valley Homes we have an extensive range of duplex plans ready to view online, that outline the square metreage required, as well as the floorplans. Also, your local council will have minimum size requirements and distances from boundaries that you will need to adhere to – so do your homework ­– or simply talk to us, and we’ll help do it all for you